A Fashion Blog By Gemma Talbot

Monday, 31 December 2018

Rounding Up 2018; The Highs And Lows...

I don’t even know where to begin. 2018 feels like it came and went quicker than you could actually say 2018. 

Reflecting on this year, I’m left with that sitting on the fence feeling. I feel like this year I experienced some major low points in my life to date but also some pretty amazing times too. I can’t quite say it was a terrible year but I don’t look back at it being one of the best I’ve had either. So as such I’m sat on the fence swaying more towards not the greatest I’ve ever experienced. Anyone else the same?

I’ll start with the positives because we start as one means to go on. 2018, was the year that I made the plunge to go completely full time with my blog and Instagram and as scary as it was, I am so glad I took the leap of faith and ultimately believed in myself to become self employed. It still feels weird writing that down. Gemma Talbot…self employed.  Admittedly, it was a slow-ish start but I cannot believe how much I have achieved from January to now. There have been some bumps along the way but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?! I had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing brands and really feel as though I have a solid(ish) place in the influencer industry. Or more importantly, I have developed my own identity and know exactly the path I want to take. In my eyes, ambition is one of the most powerful driving forces you need especially in a job where self motivation is everything. 

Upon reflection, here are a few things I have learnt about myself and key things that stand out when looking back on 2018 as a whole. 

Standing up for myself

This for me, can be applied both personally and professionally. Ultimately, having my heart tampled on by a fuck boy has made me stick up for myself when it comes to dating and has also made me way more self assured in knowing exactly what I want when guys are involved. As Cardi B would say “B***h, I’m cutting you off”. I know you do have to learn from experience but when it comes to dating I really feel as though I’ve certainly had to learn the hard way, this year particularly. 
Becoming self employed in January, nothing prepared me for the stresses that would come from brands ignoring your emails and not paying you on time. As such, it has taught me a number of lessons that have made me much more business orientated #GIRLBOSS 👊🏼 

It doesn’t just stop there, I’ve learnt the value of my time and ultimately time is money. I’m not going to let a brand try and underpay me because ultimately I know my worth. In the industry I work in, brands will try and get all for nothing. Exposure on your social channels in exchange for a gifted item which once upon a time was great but now that I’m making a living from blogging, that free lipstick just doesn’t pay the bills. This has to be one of the biggest obstacles of my profession to date but if a brand tries to bring me down on my fee (to an insulting amount) I’ll simply turn the work down. An employer would not ask one of their employees to work for half their day rate so why should I or other bloggers alike. I’ve definitely learnt to say no more and I’ve found that in doing so I’ve gained more respect not only for myself but from companies who ultimately know they can’t take the piss. 

In the past, I’ve felt that there has been a lack of respect for bloggers in general. Shitty, belittling emails from PR’s whereby on numerous occasions I’ve been told (by email) that I’m overcharging because my engagement isn’t good enough. I used to take this so personally and at times it felt like a total slap in the face. I need to remember (and it’s definitely become easier) that the brand is reaching out to me in the first place because I have something they want…..exposure. As such, they wouldn’t have the nerve to talk to a journalist like that and I’m not a piece of s**t on their shoe either. Rather than send a sarcastic email, I abide by the term kill with kindness because ultimately I’ll make them feel how they’ve made me feel….small. If someone isn’t willing to take me seriously the same will apply and I’ll just choose to take my business elsewhere. 

Falling for a fuck boy and being walked all over

Imagine feeling as though you lost a best friend and lover simultaneously (or at least someone whom at the time you thought you had a genuine connection with) but also being so angry at yourself for putting yourself in that situation in the first place. I’d often fight back tears because I was stupid enough to put myself in that situation that caused me to feel that way in the first place. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but if I can take anything from it, it’s certainly made me stronger, more self assured and also the type of relationship I don’t want. So in the words of Arianna Grande “thank u, next”. 

I think 2018 can be summed up as the year of the fuck boy. I honestly started to feel as though I had a sign tattooed on my head that only all the fuck boys could see. When I say it felt like I was riding the fuck boy express to fuck boy town, I’m not kidding. It got to the point where one night I was with my friends having fun drinking lots of wine and I just burst into tears. Will I ever meet someone who is nice to me I remember thinking. It was probably the alcohol that set me off but they say a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts and quite frankly I became tired of trying to be strong and put on a brave face all of the time. Everyone around me seemed to be so loved up and I was just so unhappy with my own love life or shall I say lack of. You just start to think why is this happening to me?! From having my heart broken to being ghosted, 2018 taught me that with guys you have to persevere and have patience. Equally I wasn’t prepared to settle either. Hell no. Upon reflection, I was definitely looking in the wrong places and as my grandma loves to remind me “it will happen when you least expect it”. If you read on, you’ll see that this couldn’t be more true. 

So yeh I basically went and fell for the ultimate fuck boy. I met him in the gym, which in itself is asking for trouble. You know it’s not going to be good news when they are fighting you for the mirror and asking you daily whether they look “wham”. In all honesty, I was blinded by the person that this guy really turned out to be. I was sucked into his fuck boy dick sand of half charm, half manipulation and boy did he manipulate me. Those close to me know exactly to what extent but we won’t dwell on that. It all started as sunshine and rainbows but what really had happened was that I lost self-belief and ultimately this was reflected in the guys I was going for. I began to put up with this shitty behaviour because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Having your ego bruised one too many times does this to you but at the time I couldn’t see it. 

After going back and forth, even after I promised myself I wouldn’t (that’s the result of rejection for you) I was met with the biggest slap in the face of them all. This fuck boy who fed me his b******t of not being ready to commit told me he was getting back with his ex and giving it another go. He used to get calls from a friend call ‘Joey’ who at the time he told me was a friend from work and I genuinely believed him. It wasn’t until I found out ‘Joey’ was in fact Joanna and that ultimately he’d been unfaithful to me the whole time. Grade A jerk. As women we all have insecurities about the ex, especially if they're still in the picture and this was a real life case of him going back to his ex. At the time, it felt like I wasn’t good enough but now I look back and think the poor girl is welcome to him. He actually did me a massive favour because looking back I hated the person I had become. I’ll go as far to say that I’d become pathetic, insecure and weak and usually I’m so independent and strong. Time really is the best healer. That and hindsight and I feel 100% back to my normal self. Thank god.

When I thought 2018 couldn’t get any worse (god this post is starting to sound depressing) I was ghosted by a guy that I used to see a few years prior to this. This happened after the crap mentioned above so as you can imagine I was sort of losing all faith in men full stop. Rather than dwell on this, I’d rather not give these little fuck boys the time of day what I will say is that block, mute and archive is a very effective coping mechanism. Even if it means I revert to a toddler…out of sight, out of mind. Truthfully, I’m more than happy with that if it means bye boy. To be fair, compared to what had happened to me that year it hardly phased me at all it’s just the principle and rejection that’s hard to shake. What I have also learnt along the way is that more often than not guys don’t like to be ignored. They like you to try and fight for them but I’ll only put up a fight if I feel it’s something worth fighting for. 


It might seem incredibly silly but it can be really easy to take your friends for granted but looking back 2018 has been a really good friendship year for me. 

It goes without saying I couldn’t have got through 2018 without my Instagram wife and friend Sophie Milner. She has become such an integral part of my life that I cannot believe we have only been friends for about a year and a half. It genuinely feels like we’ve known each other a lifetime. Not only has she helped me enormously with my job, venturing out to take photos for the gram but she’s come to the rescue with many situations and giving me some sound advice and also picked me up when I’ve needed it the most. Our daily voice notes could definitely be used as incriminating evidence against us I am sure but she’s never someone I will tire of. Two things really stand out to me when looking back on 2018 with my wife; our trips to Marrakech and Bali which created such amazing memories for me. You can even watch her vlogs here and here. I definitely want to continue to travel more with this one in the new year and we have plenty of opportunities up our sleeve. What I will say is that having someone in my life who understands my job down to a t because she does it too (albeit better) has helped me on so many occasions this year. I look up to her in so many ways and at times want to shake her because she really doesn’t see what a god damn catch she really is. 

Many of you may not know about my friend Tiff. I met her at my gym last year and whilst she is a few years older than me and at a completely different stage in her life (gorgeous house, husband and children). She is hands down one of the kindest people I know and also my favourite gym buddy. Tiff has helped me on various occasions with work, even offering up her house for a full on shoot for a sponsored blog post. Tiff takes pretty much all of my gym videos for me which I post on my fitness page (@gemmatalbotfitness) and just has a heart of gold. She really has been a good friend to me and helped me out when I have really needed it and this is testament to a true friend even if I haven't known her that long. 

Last but certainly not least is Poppy, whom I am sure many of you are familiar with. When I thought that our friendship (whom many simply don’t understand) couldn’t get any stronger it just somehow did. The best way to sum up our relationship is not only a best friend but also a sister. She’ll give me advice on ways I could improve with work from a consumers point of view as it’s often easy to lose sight and think a little tunnel visioned and I know she really just wants me to be the best version of myself possible. Whilst an extended trip to Thailand (where we both went for 5 weeks to get over our ex’s) is long overdue, I couldn’t have got through this year without my favourite dinosaur and support system by my side.  She whole heartedly has my best interests at heart and is the most supportive friend I could ask for and I am eternally grateful to have such a good egg in my life. I also look forward to our daily 8-15 minute voice notes which always put me in a good mood. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has to offer and we’ve even discussed doing a podcast together which I know already is something that will bring us closer, if it’s even possible. 

Ending 2018 on a high

December has been a good month and it actually feels like I’m getting some of the good luck that I feel I deserve. I can give my closest friends all of the motivational speeches to pick them up and make them realise their true worth but when it comes to myself, I ignore my own advice altogether. I never understand this and at times it makes me feel like the biggest hypocrite. It’s not until Poppy text me this which was the wake up call I needed; “I will always protect you as you have the best heart and intentions and will defend you from fuck boys until the end. You are my forever, come what may, bae. Don’t sell yourself short you absolute sort!!”. I’ve had other friends say “why do these things happen to you? You have the kindest heart” so I’m hoping that my luck is about to change. 
For Christmas Poppy bought me tickets to Paris! I still can’t believe that I am yet to visit Paris but I couldn’t think of someone I’d rather experience it with. Typically, this is seen as a romantic getaway but if this year has taught me anything it’s that your girls will always be there for you as your support system whereas guys run a mile and all you’re left seeing is the fuck boy dust they leave behind. I am going a week before my 28th birthday (which fills me with dread….28!!!!) and it’s definitely something I cannot wait for in 2019. 

I left this last point until the end of the post because quite frankly I’m still a little surprised. Just when I thought I’d given up on men altogether; I’d taken myself off all dating apps and stopped looking for men full stop. I met someone, we started seeing each other and a few weeks ago he asked me to be his girlfriend. GIRLFRIEND! This was a turn of events I was not expecting. 2018 you sure have been full of surprises, perhaps not all good but this was definitely the good kind. I met him on a night out (Café Sol in Clapham - yes it can still happen!) but realistically I didn’t expect to hear from him again. But when I did, I really didn’t have any expectations. I was taking things at my own pace and not putting any pressure on it. Not trying to define or label it, rather just enjoy myself and try not to get hurt along the way. I definitely felt differently about this guy but I 100% had my guard up at the same time. 

Hand on heart I never expected it to go anywhere but at the same time was ok with that too. Yes I liked the guy but from experience, I had been so crushed that nothing surprises me anymore. As such, I was shocked to have made it past the three week mark and I think he was too. I mean he even saved me as Café Sol Gemma in his phone. So naturally I didn't think it was going to go anywhere.
When we had spent more time together, found we had things in common and were having actual fun, the thought of developing into something more had crossed my mind but at the same time I was in no hurry to rush anything. I wasn’t sure if this guy (I would name him but something tells me he wouldn’t like that) was a fuck boy but a gut feeling told me he wasn’t. When he told me he likes me best with no makeup and my hair up I knew he was a keeper. I knew that I didn’t want to have my time wasted by another fuck boy just based on experience but honestly I wasn’t sure if I was even looking for a boyfriend. At the time, I don’t think he was really looking for a girlfriend either. 

Whilst it’s still very early days (I’ve only known him for about three months) I have a good feeling about this one. It also helps that he ticks all the boxes; he’s beautiful, intelligent, ambitious, considerate, funny and don’t get me started on those biceps and abs. He’s into the gym but in a good way, minus the ego which is not something I’ve actually experienced before. God he’s going to have a very big head if he reads this 🙈 Whilst it could all come crashing down and I’d feel a little bit embarrassed at this post, the words I write come from the heart and I’ll always be true to myself. At times, I can’t quite believe my luck but then again I need to remember that there’s a lot that I can bring to the table as well.  If it doesn’t work out then I’ll know that he wasn’t the right one for me but I'm hoping it does and that my insecurities don't get in the way. So L if you’re reading, you made my Christmas by asking me to be your girlfriend 🙈 I’ll stop now before I make you all reach for the sick bucket. 

I hope that you’ve all had a good 2018 and if it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows then here’s hoping 2019 is your year. I’m definitely ready for what’s in store.

shop this post:

Coat - Glamorous
Jumper - Whistles
Skirt - ASOS
Trainers - Nike
Bag - YSL

Photography by Fifi Newbery


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog. I hope you stop by again soon.

Gemma x

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